SOUTH FORK OF SNAKE RIVER
Aug 28th, 2019
Current flows out of Palisade Reservoir are flowing a little over 9600K CFS right now, just slightly higher than normal for this time of the year. Water clarity is good and best of all, the fishing is getting more consistent.
Fishing chernobyl and hopper patterns has picked up as of late, these are good flies to be hitting the banks with as well as hitting some of those shallower drop-offs below the riffles. PMD's and Yellow Sallies should be a fly that you carry in addition to PMD emergers, zebra midges, rubber legs and if there is any kind of rain, San Juan worms.
Key in on fishing the banks. The closer to the bank you can get your fly the better. I've consistently caught pretty nice trout in water that is as shallow as 4" on the South Fork. Otherwise, riffles hold a lot of rainbows and as is always the case, any kind of structure, drop-offs and seams are good places to target.
As much as I rarely fish nymphs and/or droppers, this is one river where it might be the difference between catching fish or going home empty handed. The South Fork is one of your best bets for this time of the year when everything else is high and muddy.
If you want to try and catch a citation fish I'd suggest throwing some streamers, especially in the early morning or later in the day. At this time of the year streamer fishing reall tends to get better by the day, especially if you like catching those big German browns.
Peanut Envy's, Double Bunnies, Sex Dungeons and Kamikaze Sculpins are just a few flies that come to mind when I think of the South Fork. and big fish, especially browns. If you are fishing streamers right now concentrate on the banks, especially in the mornings, but even during the day you'd be surprised how many big fish are tight to the banks. It is much, much easier to fish the SF from a boat, but if you don't have one concentrate on structure, seams, rocks, logs and drop-offs, at least for the big browns.
If you prefer to target rainbows, you can never go wrong fishing small zebra midges and pheasant tails in the shallower riffles, although drift boats tend to park on these waters throughout the day. Egg patterns and San Juan worms are also very effective, especially during the early season for the 'bows.
Larger stonefly and hopper patterns work really well on the SF (when it is fishing). Work the banks with these flies. The tighter you get to the bank, the higher probability of enticing a fish into a bite. Any small pocket of slack water is a good bet for a fish. As is always the case, any kind of structure is also going to provide better opportunities for getting a fish to rise. And if you see any riffles, be sure to work them with PMD's, BWO' or Mahogany Duns..
Personally, I rarely do this...but I would highly suggest fishing a dropper when floating the SF. Pat's rubber legs and JJ specials are good choices for large stonefly patterns or you can try zebra midges, copper johns and other smaller nymph patterns like flashback pheasant tails. If there is any hint of rain San Juan worms always seem to work pretty well, especially for the 'bows.
Gear guys should be chucking Rapala Countdowns, GULP minnows and you might try a Kamikaze Sculpin as well, these lures look like flies, but they have enough weight to be cast with a spin rod, and they work!
As always, come by the store for more info on fly or lure selection or any questions you may have. I can only sit in front of a keyboard for so long before I need to go fishing.